In the past two weeks, I have learned a great deal of what it means to be a group leader/counselor. A group leader is an extraordinary human being, who is fully knowledgeable in ethics and legal standards, advanced in techniques and skills, and consumes personal qualities motivating moral excellence in practice. It is essential group leaders involve personal and professional judgment in accordance with ethical and legal standards. Serious harm and damage is at hand, if group leaders do not adhere to ethical and legal guidelines when conducting group counseling (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010). It is the group leaders responsibility to work “with clients” instead of “on clients” in group counseling. The group leader can use resources available such as the ACA Code of Ethics and the Association for Specialists in Group Work to guide them in an ethical and legal manner (Wilson, Rapin, & Haley-Banez, 2004)
Informed consent is an ethical standard group leaders are required to present and practice to all group members. Informed consent is not a one-time discussion needed within groups, it is a topic that should be discussed throughout the group counseling process. It is critical for group leaders to clarify and describe all aspects of informed consent with every group member. The group leader should discuss the purpose and goals of the group, the limitations to confidentiality, the theoretical framework being implemented, group services that can be provided, the responsibility of leader and members, and the qualification of the leaders (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010).
The ACA Code of Ethics, standard A.2.a, Informed Consent, describes in detail the client’s freedom to enter or remain in a counseling relat...
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...y challenged. The group’s privacy can be implicated without the appropriate knowledge of informed consent (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010).
It is critical group leaders are in correspondence with the ACA Code of Ethics as well as the ASGW in order to ensure appropriate ethical and legal standards are being upheld. I believe informed consent is a major ethical standard, which needs to be in constant agreement throughout the group counseling process. It is essential for group leaders to consider the ramifications when informed consent is not properly conducted. The group process, group members, and group leader can become impaired when informed consent is absent or partially conducted in the group counseling. As a future counselor, I desire to become a superior group leader who consumes personal integrity and ethical conduct (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2010).
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